This type of event always becomes very personal to me and really is a “God Encounter”. It seems that whatever challenge I am going through in my personal spiritual life God meets me there and brings me just a step closer to him. This was no exception. As I stumbled to the prayer room at 4am on Sabbath morning I felt frustrated. My deepest and most real desire is to KNOW God more fully and to pursue him in my life yet I feel like I am “looking through a glass darkly”. I just can’t figure out what to do to get it clear. In my sleepy mind I hoped that the prayer room would somehow work some magic so that my eyes would be open. Maybe this time I would taste again what it was like to be in God’s presence and how to carry that into my mundane life.
As I read and prayed over the prayers on the walls I felt like I was amidst a chorus of people praying the same prayer in my heart: “God reveal yourself to me” “God show me direction in my life” “God I want to see you work”. Somehow I felt like it was adding to my own angst and I found myself in tears just asking God to answer these prayers as well as my own unexplainable desire. I attempted to express my feelings in a crude drawing of a tall gray wall dividing me on one side from everything beautiful on the other – love, sunshine, green grass, & flowers – the blessings of God.
These feelings led me to the prayer rugs where the words on the wall encouraged me to unroll myself in surrender before God in the same way as I unroll the rug and kneel on it. What a beautiful picture of surrender! As I huddled on the rug in the dark of a blanket covering me, I admitted to God that I felt very dark and separated from him. Although I wanted to surrender and prayed those words I didn’t really feel it in my heart but know that sometimes I must just say the words even when I don’t FEEL it. I sat there in my darkness for a few minutes waiting – and I heard God speak to me specifically. He said “come to the cross, I’m waiting right here for you.” I was a little startled because I realized I had subconsciously been avoiding the cross in the corner of the room. I thought it looked nice (I had helped set it up) but for some reason had skirted around it in this journey. I moved to the cross and just reflected on Jesus’ sacrifice and prayed that it would become part of me as I ate the cracker and drank the juice.
I would like to say that something miraculous happened at the base of that cross; it would be so exciting to tell you that my hunger for God was been satisfied, but it hasn’t. No bells went off or choirs sang. Somehow though it was a glimpse of Him and a very personal reminder that He hears my prayer and that the God of the Universe met me in that room.